Early childhood education (ECE; also nursery education) is a branch of education theory which relates to the teaching of young children (formally and informally) up until the age of about eight (birth to Grade 2). Infant/toddler education, a subset of early childhood education, denotes the education of children from birth to age two.
While the first two years of a child's life are spent in the creation of a child's first "sense of self", most children are able to differentiate between themselves and others by their second year. This differentiation is crucial to the child's ability to determine how they should function in relation to other people.Parents can be seen as a child's first teacher and therefore an integral part of the early learning process.
Primary (or elementary) education consists of the first five to seven years of formal, structured education. In general, primary education consists of six to eight years of schooling starting at the age of five or six.